What is “classic PLM”?

What is “classic PLM”?

My long time blogging colleague and PLM coach Jos Voskuil hit me by an interesting term – classic PLM in his last comment to my article – Why PDM still far from the retirement.

Oleg, I believe there are some other factors to consider why existing PLM and CAD will not change fast. First of all if you are working in a company with 10-20+ years of history, you cannot start from scratch. Redefining or restructuring data has no added value. This is one of the biggest inhibitors for CAD and PLM. In addition I would state, the larger the enterprise, the more old fashioned ways of working are engraved in the company. So legacy is issue #1 in particular in the domain of PDM and CAD. Second, imagine you are a startup company without legacy, where would you focus ? Here the mindset is more selecting the best tools to do the work (and PLM is not part of that). However most startup companies do more than just mechanical CAD and BOMs. Most of the time they need to manage the dependencies of hardware and software (through open source systems or home made Excels). This is an area with potential future growth for management systems and this is for example where Aras comes to my mind. In the classical space of PLM and CAD I do not see new tools creating a new value proposal based on the points above. So yes, classical PLM will not retire soon (I will be faster to retire).

I’m in general agreement with Jos Voskuil about inertia of large manufacturing companies to adopt new processes. However, I don’t think there is such a thing like “classic PLM”. I made few Google searches with the words “classic PLM”.  The search returned under ~800 results. Not many…  Here are few references.

CIMdata speaks about “classic PLM” processes such as BOM management and change control. Verdi Ogwell speaks about “classic PLM” vendors in this article with the context of expanding of what PLM did before. IDC article is comparing “classic PLM” with “cloud PLM”. Autodesk almost saying the same in the article about “Next PLM” development.

Outside of PLM realm, there many references  about usage of word “classic” and “classical”.  Here is my favorite passage.

Traditional would indicate an ongoing theme, to a certain group.Classical would indicate a specific older time period, not specific to a certain group (until you gave it some context). Sometimes they could be interchangeable, but “traditional” usually sticks to ideals held by groups and “classical” usually sticks to era specific times.

You can also refer to the comparison between classic(al) and traditional here. I will certainly talk to some native English speakers to learn more. My favorite definition of classic contains, but not limited to something that judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. Classic is something that remarkably and instructively typical.

So, I didn’t find any evidence of “classic PLM”. Although, I agree with one thing Jos Voskuil said – existing PLM applications won’t die fast. They will be hold by people invested money and energy in their setup, configuration and implementation. So, there is enough consulting work to clean existing PLM mess for the next decade.

…. and Google image search for word “classic” returns mostly cars. So, I think, it will be fine to add an image of a car that is classic of its kind, but not really practical for everyday use :). On the picture above one of Wayne Newton’s Rolls-Royces in his Las Vegas house. Classic cars indeed.

What is my conclusion? PLM jargon is full of strange words. Classic PLM is one of them. If you like it, use it. However, you will have to clarify what is the meaning of all these words such as  classic PLM, traditional PLM, single version of truth PLM. I guess, there is always next generation development product in every company. Using previous and next is probably a better term, so it won’t trigger any confusion about what does it mean. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.



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